There are many who advocated the benefits of having an extensive network of contacts on LinkedIn, even if most of them were complete strangers. What is the use of connecting only with professionals you already know? Is not it better to weave a wide net that allows you to be in contact with half the world?
Having LinkedIn contacts, you do not know will make your network very large, but meaningless. What is the goal of having a professional network? These platforms allow us to build a network of contacts where we can rely on a variety of professional scenarios. Do you need a recommendation? A meeting with experts? Ask a question about your project?
Now, ask yourself, can these unknown people do anything for me if they do not even know me? Probably not. Your network is full of professionals of all types and from all over the world, but can you count on them to validate your skills? Will you get any benefits from your ‘friendship’?
The key to LinkedIn is to have a strong and stable network. Therefore, the numbers are not important. My advice is to focus on creating a meaningful network, although this does not prevent you from adding someone you do not know (as long as this group is the exception) to your contact list. Would you like to follow a successful journalist? Do you admire an MIT engineer? Add him even if you do not know him, since, perhaps, his articles and publications can be of help.
You think that LinkedIn is not a social network like Facebook or Twitter, so you should always keep in mind that quality must take precedence over quantity.